Play only premium hands, pocket pairs and a tight/aggressive style utilizing position. Fold everything else no matter how initially enticing.
AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, AQ, AJ
1010, 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 44, 33, 22
-You always want to raise preflop with one of your premium hands with few exceptions in terms of position play. 8BB is the raise.
The only time you should not raise with hands like AQ or AJ is when you are out of position. The closer you are to the button the more acceptable it is for you to raise with those hands.
-You always want to raise with pocket pairs 10's and under. 6bb is the raise.
It's important to have some sort of pot built if you are in a hand. You should only be in a hand with good reason. If you are sitting at the big blind/small blind or under the gun (first position, the one immediately after the blinds) then you will want to fold hands like AK, AQ and AJ.
Strong hands like AA and KK are really all you should be raising with from the BB/SB. However, you will still want to play any pocket pair because of whats known as implied odds
. If you hit your set, chances are you will be paid off something nice. Do not invest too much in QQ or JJ when in early position even though they are premium hands. Play them like the other pairs.
-Fold to a 3 bet if you have QQ-JJ
Yes, these are good hands, but it's not a good idea to call a 3 bet with them. Likewise, it'd be in poor taste for you to 3 bet while holding them.
Often times, after a 3bet, your opponents will have hands such as AK, AA or KK and you will be way behind or about 50/50% at best. If an A, K, Q hits the board you now have a decision. If you are out of position then that decision is even tougher. This is why it's important to grasp the concept of position play actually incorporate it into your game. Take this notion to heart and engrave it in your mind while it's young and in training for the game. It'll put you a step ahead of the pack and you won't regret it in the near future.
The only hands you should be 3 betting with are AA, KK and if you have position, maybe AK, but I'd leave it alone for now. If you are 3bet while holding AA or KK then go for either a 4bet or shove. You'll get paid off at 2NL.
-Be careful with AK AQ AJ and Top Pair Top kicker
Most of your money will be made off of suckers who refuse to fold their top pair while you have a set/flush and you put them all in. Do not be a sucker. The same applies with overpair's. AA and KK are monsters preflop, but up for speculation and often overvalued postflop.
Generally speaking I've found it to be a great idea to let TPTK or OP's go after you've bet the turn and still have a customer. Sure, they could be on a flush draw or you could have them out kicked, but why not wait for a better spot to get your money in? You will find that most of your losses will come from TPTK if you play long enough and analyze your hands with PokerTracker, especially if you play it out of position.
-Don't play KJ or QJ
Just don't do it. If you can't resist then at least play them suited and from the button. No other position. Worthless kicker's get you in trouble. You shouldn't be aggressive with junk. No excuse to be passive, ever. Not at 2NL. Maybe if you have a set, maybe.
- After you've raised PreFlop make sure you follow up with a continuation bet.
Aggression with a continuation bet if you are new to a table is a solid investment. Nothing like a good first impression. Ideally you will want to be heads up against one opponent when you follow with a CBet (new to the table or not) and it will also be while you're in position. If you happen to be head's up and out of position then a CBet is warranted if the board is dry (something liek 2 3 7 or 4 7 7). Even if it isn't too dry you still may want to try. Experience is the best teacher here. If your CBet is called then for the love of god let it go.
If you have 2 players in a pot with you and you miss a flop then feel free to check it down. At 2NL there isn't much value in exploiting the button most of the time, especially seeing as you're new to the game. These guys don't like to fold and now isn't the time to practice any sort of bluffing I can assure you. Not at 2NL.
-If you can be swayed into calling on the river then bet the turn instead
Remember, your style is Tight Aggressive. This will prevent your opponents from potentially sucking out on you on the river should they choose to fold to your turn bet. This is another reason as to why position and premium hands are so important at 2NL. You don't want to be aggressive in a hand without a hand for the soul sake of aggression. You want to be in control. When you're out of position then they are in control and you aren't playing poker, but a guessing game. Make them guess. These guys don't like to fold, so make them pay to gamble. Don't bluff.
-Don't bluff or play suited connectors
When you move up the ladder and are more attuned to the game then these fascists of it will be applicable, but not right now. Baby steps. Most of your money will be won at showdown while playing at 2NL. There will be lots of shoving and hardly any folding. This is why strong hands coupled with aggressive play is a must and bluffing/suited connectors have no place at this limit. You have no business calling unless you're slow playing a monster. Chances are you're beat if you need to think too hard. Suited connectors require too much calling and in the end you rarely have the odds you need to justify the call anyway. Calling is weak and you're style is strong aggressive. Let these people know they are in a pot with somebody.
-Play Full Ring Games and avoid 6-Max
Once you've become accustomed to the game you can pick your poison, but for now stick to the basics. Full ring is ABC while 6 Max can throw you for a loop if you are just starting out. There will be plenty of time to get your feet wet. Patience.
-Forget about the Money and the bad beats
These things will come and go throughout your poker career and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Suck it up, take the pain on the chin and bury it, right now. Accept that Poker is a game of variance and long term results, not short term. So when you have a bad session don't think twice about it. You constantly want to be working to improve and look for holes in your game, but don't dwell on what you have no control over. The only way to make money at poker is to have a complete disregard for it. Get your mind right.
That's all that comes to mind right now dude. You will be doing a lot of folding and I can promise you'll come out a winner in the long run if you hone this nitty style. If you don't have the discipline and dedication to tough this out, then good luck with your poker career.
Good luck with your goals. See you at the top.